Kudos to Africa and Pakistan cricket boards for staging games amid these tough times
Staging cricket at the moment is not without its challenges. But life right now, in the midst of a pandemic, is not without challenges, so the officials at Cricket South
Africa and the Pakistan Cricket Board, deserve lots of credit for keeping cricket going in these most wretched of times.
Both countries have already endured – and continue to endure – enormous challenges on top of what the Covid-19 pandemic has provided.
So the national men’s and women’s teams of the two countries facing each other in the next few weeks will hopefully provide a distraction for supporters and some much-needed action for the players, particularly the two women’s teams who’ve had so little cricket over the last 12 months.
The Proteas women are arguably further along in their development as a team than the Pakistanis. Nevertheless, both teams’ progress as contenders at ICC events was hit hard by the postponement of tours and series, owing to the outbreak of the pandemic last year.
The three T20 and three One-day Internationals the sides will play in Durban is absolutely critical in allowing the players to hit the reset button and hopefully allow them to build towards a busier schedule this year.
The respective men’s teams have had playing time recently, and the two Tests they will play in Karachi and Rawalpindi should be competitive affairs. Both sides are in a transition phase under new captains, with a host of new players as well. It’s a historic tour for South Africa, the first to Pakistan in 14 years.
But just how challenging things are in a pandemic, became clear in the hours ahead of the Proteas’ departure last Friday as they had to hastily secure a charter flight after their usual carriers cancelled all flights to and from South Africa.
It’s another sign of the difficulties of playing in the current climate. Players and officials will need to be flexible.
Hopefully, the action on the field will take the minds of viewers off the many challenges of day-to-day living. Pakistanis and South Africans could do with some relief just at the moment.